Semroc Tau Zero

Semroc - Tau Zero {Kit} (KN-2)

Contributed by Robert Gustin

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 0.76 inches
Length: 16.00 inches
Manufacturer: Semroc
Skill Level: 2
Style: Futuristic/Exotic
Semroc Tau Zero

SEMROC's Tau Zero is a futuristic looking, fighter styled, single stage model rocket. Designed by Jay Goemmer, it has a long, bulbous nose cone, a ring tail with 3 forward swept fins capped by laser guns.

In the kit you get:

  • Balsa nose cone
  • Main body tube
  • Ring fin body tube
  • Laser cut fins (3 outer fins, 3 inner fins)
  • Engine hook
  • Thrust ring
  • Retainer ring
  • Empty engine casing
  • 1/8" Launch lug
  • 3 3/16" launch lug (laser guns)
  • 3 1/8" wood dowels (laser guns)
  • Elastic shock cord
  • Kevlar® shock cord
  • Screw eye
  • Streamer
  • Adhesive disk (streamer)
  • Glue applicator (cotton swab)
  • Tau Zero gluing jigs
  • Waterslide decal sheet
Semroc Tau Zero

For the construction, the instruction set is first rate and is simple to follow with diagrams to aid every step. You even get 2 separate glue jigs to aid in fin placement and spacing. The model is easiest to build in two parts: the main body and the ring fin assembly. This will greatly aid in finishing the model to match the instructions paint scheme. Just use some cut strips of masking tape to cover the areas to be glued together after painting.

One thing I don't agree with is sealing the balsa parts early on in the construction. I have never known sanding sealer to accept wood glue very well. It is better to wait until the fins are on then seal the balsa on the two separate assemblies. Perhaps Semroc needs to look at this and rearrange or modify the instructions to better suit this approach. Beyond that small hiccup, finishing is straightforward model rocket finishing.

Semroc Tau ZeroSemroc Tau Zero

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

First flight with an EST A8-3 was underpowered but a nice stable flight. Ejection was a bit early.

Second flight went better with an EST B4-4. This should be the smallest motor to use with this rocket. Ejection was dead-on at apogee, just nosing over. A nice, straight, and stable flight.

Third flight was with an EST B6-4. Much like the B4-4 the ejection was dead-on at apogee, nosing over. The B6 gets it up in the air for a very nice flight.

Fourth flight was an EST C6-5. The C power really send this rocket into the air. A beautiful arrow straight flight. I could just see the ejection as the nose started to point down.

After years of flying with elastic shock cord, I've gotten tired of the snap back damage from the nose cones. With this kit I substituted a 36" length of 100# Kevlar® to replace the elastic. It makes for a nice, smooth ejection. Also, based on previous reviews here on EMRR, I switched out the kits streamer for my own 3" x 36" pleated mylar streamer. This was still not enough for an easy recovery. The rocket came back to Earth in a controlled crash more than a landing. I think the soft grass soccer field I was in kept the rocket from being damaged with not so much as a stress crack. A chute with a spill hole would be a better match to this small but slightly heavy rocket.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

The Tau Zero is a very nice rocket to build and fly. With a B4 or larger motor, this rocket really loves to fly. It is recommended though that a small parachute be used instead of the included streamer. This rocket is somewhat heavy for its size.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Semroc Tau Zero By Dick Stafford (March 28, 2010)

    ( Contributed - by Dick Stafford - 03/28/10) Brief: This is third and final kit that I received from the last 2009 Quarterly Rocket Give-Away so, once again, many thanks to Nick! The Tau Zero, as you all know, is a futuristic rocket from Semroc that flies on 18mm motors and recovers via a streamer. As of this writing, there are no less than seven great reviews on this kit. As a ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Peter Stanley (May 25, 2009)

    Brief: The Tau Zero is a Semroc original kit, which was designed by Jay Goemmer. It has an unusually shaped nosecone and forward swept fins that attach to a tube ring with additional fins underneath. It is designed for 18mm motors and uses streamer recovery. Construction: As with every Semroc kit I've built, the quality of components was excellent. The kit contained laser cut ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Tyler Jones (April 1, 2009)

    Brief: This rocket was designed by Jay Goemmer from Twin Falls, Idaho. I live in the same city (and know him) so I decided it would fun to try it out. The Tau Zero is of a really cool design and it has all the quality that Semroc is known for. Construction: The components that this kit came with are: 1 Rolled Balsa Nose Cone 1 Body tube ST-7100 (BT-20) 1 Body ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Jamie Martin (March 23, 2009)

    Brief: This is a futuristic kit with an unusually-shaped nose cone, forward-swept outer fins, and a ring fin. Construction: The kit contains: -Balsa nose cone -body tube -ring fin -laser cut fins -empty casing -thrust ring -engine hook -retaining ring -1/8" launch lug -launch lugs for ion cannons -wooden dowels for ion cannons ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Chan Stevens (February 22, 2009)

    Semroc has released a futuristic kit by guest designer Jay "Centuri Guy" Goemmer. The design was inspired by the Paul Anderson novel of the same name. It features both fin and ring stability, sharp-looking details, and a set of decals in alien language. Parts are the usual excellent Semroc quality: Balsa nose cone ST-7100 body tube (basically a thick-walled 18mm ID tube) ST-1622 ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Howard Smart (January 31, 2009)

    Brief: This is a small Sci-Fi looking model with forward swept fins, a ring fin and a bulging nose cone. Construction: The kit contains: Balsa Nose Cone Body tube (also serves as 18mm motor mount) Ring fin (body tube material) Sheet of laser cut 3/32 in. balsa fins - 6 all together, 3 inside and 3 outside ring fin Empty motor casing (spacer) Thrust ring ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Jewel B. Butler Jr. (January 11, 2009)

    Brief: This is a single stage combo ring fin and forward swept fin design. You don't get a lot of altitude, but you get style and stability. Construction: Semroc Parts-basically a BT-20 body tube and a BT-60 ring-fin and three forward swept fins with dowels on the ends of the wings.There is an engine hook that is attached out side the body tube but it is hidden by the ring ...


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